Our Islands, Our Future

This past March, Lokelani ‘Ohana re-opened their Saori weaving class to celebrate Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. Located in Wailuku, the nonprofit organization partnered with local artist Melissa Hagerty to bring therapeutic arts to the Maui community. “After the passing of our beloved Dana Allen, who led the creative weaving program for 15 years, the current class offered by Hagerty is a blessing to our community,” said Christina Chang, Founder and Director of Lokelani ‘Ohana. “Saori is a unique method of artistic weaving developed in Japan over fifty years ago by Misao Jo. Its underlying philosophy, weaving as a means to discover our true selves, encourages individual creativity.”

Based on the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi, Saori is a worldview centered on accepting and appreciating the beauty of simplicity and naturalness. It is about exhibiting one’s true self through expressive, no-rules weaving. In a missed warp thread there can be unique human value in the non-machine-like fabric. These irregularities represent the uniqueness of human-made woven cloth as compared to a perfectly woven cloth. Imperfections on all levels are embraced. Most of all, Saori encourages inclusion of anyone who wishes to weave.

“The class, called Heart of the Hive, involves participants weaving one honey-comb hexagon shaped cell of a beehive in the indigenous Huichol weaving style known as the Ojo de Dios, the Eye of God,” Chang explained. “This style of weaving brings participants into their hearts, where they create a meaningful purpose that is expressed through their weaving.”

Hagerty added, “The participants create something special for themselves, friends, families, and communities. These goals could be for our earth, themselves, or each other. ‘Heart of the Hive’ says that the heart is where the intention for the weaving comes from, while the hive represents our communities as a whole. The simple style of weaving sparked the participants’ creativity, while also celebrating community and the power of forming intentions together. Once enough weavings are created, they can be connected to produce a large-scale woven beehive community art installation, symbolizing originality and harmony.”

Lokelani ‘Ohana creates therapeutic programs in housing, organic gardening, and the arts for all of our Maui community, including adults with developmental disabilities.

Christina Chang, Founder and Director, Lokelani ‘Ohana